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Boost your sales with tips from Warren Buffett
DECEMBER 18, 2012 | The Globe and Mail | by HARVEY SCHACHTER, SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL.

How to Close a Deal Like Warren Buffett
By Tom Searcy and Henry DeVries
(McGraw-Hill, 217 pages, $24.95)

The authors recommend a process they call "the triples" that will help you make the case for your product or service:

Triple 1: The prospect's three problems

First, find out – and write down – the three biggest problems the prospect faces in the area your product or service can help. This aligns you with the buyer's interests.

Triple 2: Your three-part solution

Now think carefully about how you can solve each problem. As you write it out for the client, remember that generic language such as "improved," "better," and "big difference" are not that compelling. Use actual numbers and refer to specific pressure points to focus on the outcomes your prospect can expect.

Triple 3: Your three references

The third step is to identify at least three references you can share who have experienced similar outcomes when using your products and services. This may be sensitive, given confidentiality and competitive issues. But the authors stress: "The most effective way to get the attention of prospects is to drop the names of others just like them."

The authors urge you to become a student of psychology and develop profiles of members of the prospect's team. Try to determine each person's fears, since those qualms may send your pitch into the ditch. Determine each person's point of view about your solution, as well as any other personal trait or event that might be of importance. At the same time, study the team dynamics, from where people sit around the table to who they defer to.

The most dangerous person will be "the eel." The authors insist that "in every deal, and at every prospect's table, there is always an eel – a person who is against the deal. Always. Eels have a tendency to hang out in the shadows. They are hard to get to, and they usually talk you down when you're not around."

Usually eels are driven by fear that they don't want to acknowledge, so instead they insist they are against the deal on principle. They are dangerous, and must be identified early. Then you can try to co-opt them, taking the eel's ideas and baking them into your proposal.
aligned_interests  books  deal-making  eels  enterprise_clients  Harvey_Schachter  indispensable  JCK  management_consulting  obstacles  pitches  problems  problem_solving  psychology  references  salesmanship  solutions  tips  think_threes  Warren_Buffett 
august 2017 by jerryking
Ontario Tender Fruit Lab
October- December 2014

Found by Googling "challenges import exotic fresh produce ontario"
Ontario  fruits  fresh_produce  branding  organic  agribusiness  agriculture  farming  retailers  supermarkets  grocery  MaRS  sustainability  challenges  problems  solutions  farmland  local 
august 2015 by jerryking
Eight ways to become the most proactive person you know - The Globe and Mail
MICHAEL MOGILL
Young Entrepreneur Council
Published Tuesday, Dec. 09 2014

It’s all about you. No one else is going to get you where you want to go – it’s up to you.... Take ownership of your problems, and realize that nobody else is going to solve them for you.

Be solution-focused. ...The most effective way to handle a problem is to focus on finding a solution. Focusing on things that are out of your control is a waste of time, so focus on what you can control with the final outcome.

Be accountable. Set your clearly defined, quantifiable goal and then work backwards from that goal to establish metrics to track and evaluate it.

Use “SMART” goals. S: Specific (Pick something particular instead of using a broad category.) M: Measurable (Choose something you can quantify.) A: Attainable (You should actually be able to reach this, and it may just require the right steps.) R: Realistic (Be honest – it’s probably unrealistic to say you will go from making $10,000 to being a billionaire in one year.)T: Timely (Give each goal a timeframe to create a sense of urgency.)

Make your own luck. Being successful ... is about taking steps every day to be better than you were the day before by moving in a positive, forward trajectory. Make a blueprint and set out milestones for yourself in specific timeframes, or you are not going to hit your goal. Things do not come to fruition just because you really, really want them to happen. You have to make them happen.

Be consistent. Ultimately, success is not about getting everything right. It is about being consistent. Are you consistently and persistently taking steps every day to steadily move toward your goal?

Find the right people. Surrounding yourself with driven, effective people is a proven way to help you succeed.

Honesty is the best policy. Busywork is not effectiveness/progress. At the end of the day, if you don’t hit your goals, you are only doing a disservice to yourself. You cannot get better if you tell yourself, “Oh, it’s okay, I’m fine where I am.” (There has to be a certain element of sustained dissatisfaction).
accountability  affirmations  beyond_one's_control  blueprints  books  busywork  chance  character_traits  consistency  contingency  dissatisfaction  effectiveness  goal-setting  GTD  honesty  indispensable  intrinsically_motivated  It's_up_to_me  JCK  ksfs  luck  Managing_Your_Career  personal_control  proactivity  problem_solving  productivity  rainmaking  restlessness  self-starters  solutions  solution-finders  span_of_control  the_right_people  thinking_backwards  work-back_schedules 
december 2014 by jerryking
Want to land a big client? Here are four important tips - The Globe and Mail
MATTHIJS KEIJ
Young Entrepreneur Council
Published Tuesday, Aug. 12 2014

Study them

Landing a big client isn’t about you. Let me say that again: It is not about you.... remember that to succeed, you must help your client succeed. How do you do that? Study everything you can about the client until you fully understand the business, strategies and objectives.

Next, clearly define how your product or service will help the company achieve its goals. If you can identify a problem or isolate areas for improvement, then you can clearly illustrate your ability to provide a unique solution.

Make the connection. to land that enterprise client, try to identify your Norgay or Hillary. Talking to the wrong people wastes valuable time. However, if you can create a relationship with a strategic partner, that person can help get you in front of the right people and into the necessary meetings – all the more quickly than you could do on your own. Your target client is Mount Everest. Start climbing.
Gain influence

“An enterprise client needs to be convinced that working with your company is the best decision they could ever make,” says Karthik Manimozh, president and COO of 1-Page. “One of the most effective ways to help them arrive at this conclusion is to let your reputation precede you.”

The leadership, prestige and visibility that your company wields in the marketplace are all key factors that influence buying decisions. The answers your potential enterprise client seeks rest on your ability to shape your story. Good PR and marketing is the foundation. Strategic networking and social proof are pillars.

Remember, influence is something that comes with hard work...Be everywhere; talk with everyone (but ensure your conversations are informative and upbeat, never desperate).

Persevere through tough times

It can take months or even more than a year to land an enterprise client. Nothing worth having comes easy.

During that time, you’re bound to find yourself in countless meetings, possibly caught up in the middle of office politics, or jumping through hoops as the legal and procurement departments vet your company. Don’t dismay. This is par for the course when trying to land an enterprise client.
solutions  solution-finders  marketing  business_development  tips  indispensable  influence  networking  JCK  due_diligence  large_companies  perseverance  Communicating_&_Connecting  value_propositions  serving_others  strategic_thinking  client_development  hard_work  enterprise_clients  hard_times  office_politics  Michael_McDerment  the_right_people 
august 2014 by jerryking
What kind of jobs do the software engineers who earn $500k per year do? - Quora
If you're a worker in a village who supplies said village with water, you are valuable to its people. There are two types of workers:

Type 1 worker: Grabs an empty bucket or two, goes to the sweet water lake, fills them up, comes back and makes twenty people happy. He gets to drink some of that water along the way, and once he gets back, takes some of the water home.

Type 2 worker: Disregards how much of a "fair share" of water he's getting. Instead of grabbing a bucket, grabs a shovel and a little cup, and disappears for a while. He's digging a stream from the lake towards the village. Often he disappoints people for having returned from weeks of work with an empty cup. But the elders in the village for some reason believe in him and want to keep him (and throw him a bone so that he doesn't starve for a little while). Some day, suddenly he shows up with a constantly flowing stream of water behind his back. He puts the Type 1 workers out of water delivery business. They'll have to go find a different activity and "team" to work with. Type 2 worker, depending on how much control they retained on that stream, get to own a good chunk of it. Because the village wants to acquire and integrate that stream, they compensate the ownership of Type 2 worker in that stream with on par ownership in the village itself, typically land or such.

News media observes the Type 2 worker and his unwillingness to part with his accumulated wealth in return for his added value for the village (often vesting on a schedule, also known as golden handcuffs); and spins it such that it looks as if another village tried to woo that worker but was met with unexpected resistance.

The resulting media impression, in the mind of Type 1 workers, feels like pay inequity (see the video at the bottom). This is because Type 1 workers expect equal rewards for equal time spent being loyal to the same village.
creating_valuable_content  entrepreneurship  mindsets  productivity  productivity_payoffs  Quora  scaling  solutions  solution-finders  software  thinking_big  uncharted_problems  unconventional_thinking  value_creation  variations  wealth_creation 
may 2014 by jerryking
Getting Ahead by Having Answers Instead of Questions - NYTimes.com
By

ADAM BRYANT

When I talked to them, I learned that they really wanted to create something in their labs that helps people and the company.

Q. Why wasn’t that happening?

A. I think the disconnect was from a lack of focus on what success was. Success wasn’t around the number of patents you had or how many papers you published. Success needed to be defined as creating products that mattered. One of the ways we did it was by a semantics shift from “R.& D.” to “D.& R.” to show people that while we invest in research, let’s prioritize the development side.

Q. Other career advice?

A. I think most people don’t realize that everybody comes to the C.E.O. with problems. Most people don’t come to tell me good news. The people I rely on or view as high-potential folks are people who come with a problem but also bring ideas for the solution. It may not be the right solution. We may do something entirely different, but they’ve been thoughtful about it.

Earlier in my career, when I went to my C.E.O.’s, I walked in and said, “Here’s the problem and I have two ideas for what we can do.” I never walked in without trying to be thoughtful, and at least two steps ahead. If people are looking to advance their career, they may want to be more thoughtful about bringing some ideas for solving a problem, and not just presenting a problem.

Published: May 27, 2013
CEOs  Bausch_&_Lomb  indispensable  problem_solving  questions  movingonup  overachievers  high-achieving  solutions  solution-finders 
may 2013 by jerryking
Identify new growth niche and how you can profit
March 19, 2013 | Financial Post | By Rick Spence.

Sparks: What other companies need unlikely solutions? How could you help them with data management, management of perishables, or guaranteeing consistent quality?
Sparks: What niche information markets could you develop and own? Or, what services could you offer to celebrity startups that have everything except business experience?
Spark: Retailers are eager to lock up new brands to differentiate themselves. How can you help more marketers achieve a competitive advantage?
Spark: What other marginal products and businesses will tech giants such as Google and Facebook drop next? How can you help users adjust? Or, what under-performers should you be trimming from your own product roster?
Sparks: Designers and builders should target early adopters eager for a colour makeover.
Spark: Where else can you find a business whose margins are so huge that Buy-One, Get-Three-Free makes sense? Or, when big names are offering value propositions like this, how can you retool your promotions and sales to compete?
Spark: How could you solve major problems like these without a supercomputer?
Spark: Gadgetry is changing so fast that even markets you thought had stabilized are wide open to new ideas. How can you use hot new technology to disrupt your industry?
Rick_Spence  growth  niches  entrepreneur  kill_rates  IBM_Watson  massive_data_sets  celebrities  ideas  entrepreneurship  new_businesses  solutions  disruption  under-performing  early_adopters  competitive_advantage  perishables  information_markets  adjustments  data_management  culling  differentiation  retailers  brands 
march 2013 by jerryking
When Uncertainty Is A Constant, You Can Still Plan for Surprises
April 7, 1998 | WSJ | By HAL LANCASTER.

one of the few certainties in today's tumultuous business world: About all anyone can expect is the unexpected.

Hal Lancaster answers readers' questions on career issues in Career Corner. Send your questions or comments by e-mail to hlancast@wsj.com .

Between mergers and restructurings, new technology and intensified global competition, "change is accelerating," says Dallas management consultant Price Pritchett, who specializes in change management. "The more change and the faster it comes at us, the easier it is for us to get blindsided."

But isn't the ability to cope with the unexpected genetically coded? "Some people have a high need for structure and don't like to wing it." Still, anyone can get better at dealing with surprises.

Here are some other effective strategies:

* Figure out what you can control.

* Plan tight and play loose. "deep planning," or considering all conceivable scenarios and what-ifs. But won't the unexpected foil the best-laid plans? "The better job we do planning, the better we'll do improvising, because we'll understand the situation better,"

* Develop solutions. In a soon-to-be-released booklet on innovation that he is publishing for clients, Dr. Pritchett draws lessons from the 1997 Mars Pathfinder mission. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory talked about "crafting solutions that were tolerant to the uncertainties" of such a project,

* Separate fact from assumptions.

To make good decisions, you need good information. In turbulent times, Mr. Postons observes, "people get suspicious, they get paranoid and that's when they get frozen."

* Do something.In an environment of high-velocity change, Dr. Pritchett says, remember the perils of passivity. "You have to keep moving forward, knowing that in this blurry, fast-moving world, you're going to have to drive on fog lights much of the time."

Concentrating on a plan of action and lining up others to help can turn despair into accomplishment, Dr. Stoltz says. The strategy, he adds, is "whiner-proof and solution-oriented."
Hal_Lancaster  Managing_Your_Career  uncertainty  adversity  surprises  critical_thinking  managing_change  unexpected  cost_of_inaction  assumptions  change  resilience  tumultuous  constant_change  solutions  solution-finders  accelerated_lifecycles  action_plans  span_of_control  momentum  blindsided  blind_spots  beyond_one's_control  JPL  next_play 
december 2012 by jerryking
Wealthy client advisor
Nov/Dec 2003 | Journal of Tax Practice Management | by Mike Swaim.

Business owners and high net worth individuals are best served when their advisers provide them with timely and pertinent information.....Be a true advisor, not just an analyst, offer solutions.
financial_advisors  wealth_management  high_net_worth  indispensable  owners  solutions 
august 2012 by jerryking
In a Downturn, Provoke Your Customers
March 2009 | HBR | by Philip Lay, Todd Hewlin, and Geoffrey Moore

The downturn is making it tougher than ever to make a sale. The companies you serve are slashing budgets. Senior executives—
not the managers you’ve traditionally dealt with—are now the decision makers. But you can motivate those executives to allocate funds for your offering—by using provocation-based selling:
• Identify a critical problem facing your customer—one so ominous that, even in a downturn, it will find the money to address it.
• Formulate a provocative view of the problem—a fresh perspective that frames the problem in a jarring new light.
• Lodge your provocation with an executive who has the power to approve the solution you’re proposing. To win support,convey the magnitude and intractability of the problem—without putting him on the defensive.
boldness  economic_downturn  fresh_eyes  Geoffrey_Moore  HBR  howto  pain_points  perspectives  problems  problem_solving  provocations  selling_the_problem  recessions  sales_cycle  selling  solutions 
august 2012 by jerryking
"Portrait of a perfect salesman."
3 May 2012| Financial Times | Philip Delves Broughton.

Tips for closing any deal

Know the odds

Most salespeople face far more rejection than acceptance. Knowing how many calls or meetings it takes to make each sale helps develop the positive attitude vital to succeed. After all, 99 rejections may be just the prelude to that triumphant yes.

Find a selling environment that suits you

Some people are great seducers, others dogged persuaders. Some like to make lots of sales each day, others prefer making one a year. Some enjoy high financial incentives, others thrive on the human relationships. Decide who you are first, then find a sales role that suits your personality type.

Be your customer's partner not their adversary

Great salespeople create value around products and services that they can convey and deliver to their customers. Paying attention and acting in the interests of your customer rather than yourself is very difficult. But as information about price and features becomes more widely available, service and relationships become the real value in each sale.
sales  selling  Philip_Delves_Broughton  Salesforce  character_traits  personality_types/traits  customer_centricity  ratios  partnerships  relationships  rejections  salesmanship  salespeople  success_rates  customer_focus  pay_attention  positive_thinking  solutions  solution-finders 
may 2012 by jerryking
The PNM-Wikistrat connection
June 22, 2010 | Globlogization | Thomas P.M. Barnett. Four
20-something entrepreneurs have created a start-up (incorporated 6 mths.
ago) that seeks to adapt the Wiki platform to a
competition-of-the-fittest-style generator of strategic planning within
organizations (companies, government agencies, etc.)...Strategic
consulting in the private sector requires--more than ever--some
connectivity to solution-delivery, meaning almost nobody is paying the
old top-dollar for PPT slide decks and reorg charts--only. Instead,
companies want your interaction to come with some technology solution
that simultaneously empowers them to deal with the issue in question.
Advice just isn't enough anymore.

Govts. as a whole struggle with these problems, and are always looking
for new tools to empower individual workers while connecting them to the
wisdom of crowds, whether it be fellow bureaucrats (where a tremendous
amount of wisdom truly resides) or with the citizenry (their natural
counterparty).
wikis  Thomas_Barnett  management_consulting  start_ups  Israel  Israeli  solutions  advice  counterparties  empowerment  government  tools  bureaucrats  wisdom_of_crowds  citizenry 
june 2010 by jerryking
Unleashing your inner supernova
Dec 29, 2006 | The Globe & Mail. pg. B.8 | by Diane Davies.
Go beyond being a good and find out how to become indispensable. The
indispensable person is focused on success, and has built a reputation
not only for finding solutions, but for having visionary ideas and the
guts to make them reality. Here are four steps for building that
indispensable presence. (1) Own the company. Start thinking like the
company's owner. (2) Develop your presence. Avoid negativity. digest
information quickly and present it clearly and concisely. (3) Build
your reputation with colleagues, other parts of the company, members of
professional associations and the broader community. Be the "go-to"
person. Prepare. (4) Be visionary. Plus: Blowing your own horn
(softly). For Jason Isaacs.
indispensable  owners  up-and-comers  Managing_Your_Career  solutions  solution-finders  personal_branding  reputation  self-promotion  time-management  movingonup  visionaries  mindsets  Pablo_Picasso  negativity_bias  clarity  concision  Jason_Isaacs 
february 2010 by jerryking
Rummy's war
Apr 5, 2003 | The Globe & Mail. pg. F.1 | Barrie McKenna & Doug Saunders. "In the highest reaches of power, the people who have
influence are the ones who bring the president solutions, not problems,"
the former White House insider explained. "When Rumsfeld says we are
going to overthrow the Taliban and I don't need 100,000 troops to do it,
and it happens, that adds to your influence."
Donald_Rumsfeld  profile  rules_of_the_game  Doug_Saunders  Iraq  indispensable  influence  problem_solving  generating_strategic_options  solutions  solution-finders 
december 2009 by jerryking
Introduction: Customer Focus - HBR.org
May 2007 | HBR | Customers are the real employer—the people
who fund our paychecks, the only guarantors of our jobs. Because the
customer’s power is very real, the dynamics of business drive everything
toward commoditization. As surely as springtime melts snowbanks,
markets erode profits. A company can respond to melting margins in one
of four ways. It can surrender, giving up differentiation and competing
on efficiency and cost. It can consolidate power by buying its rivals,
figuring that the biggest snowbanks survive longest. It can innovate,
leaving behind the commoditized old and making money from that which is
still fresh and profitable. Or it can differentiate not just its
offerings but its approach to customers as well: It can cleverly define
segments of customers and sell only to those for whom it can create
especially valuable offerings or work with individual customers to
combine its products and services into unique packages, often described
as “solutions.”
HBR  customer_focus  commoditization  customer_centricity  consolidation  innovation  differentiation  bespoke  personalization  customer_segmentation  value_propositions  solutions  solution-finders  packagers 
october 2009 by jerryking
globeandmail.com - When layoffs hit, ad community takes care of its own
January 31, 2009 | G&M | by TENILLE BONOGUORE. Her series,
'The personal economy', is a series that looks at people in the Toronto
region coping with the economic downturn.
layoffs  solutions  Toronto  local  economic_development  crisis  advertising_agencies  personal_economy  community-based 
february 2009 by jerryking

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